Feb 10

When the Wheels on the Bus Shouldn’t Go Anywhere: Commercial Driver Charged in DUI in Maryland


A story that could have ended much more tragically ended in a DUI arrest for the driver of a commercial charter bus from Delaware. The driver was entrusted with driving Maryland middle school students home from a field trip when the bus began weaving in and out of lanes, prompting other drivers on the road to call reports in to police. Adult chaperones on board with the students were also pleading with the bus driver to pull over and wait for arrest, according to police. The bus driver finally did so on Route 50 in Talbot County, and thankfully all students and chaperones returned home safely.

In this case, thankfully, no one seems to have been physically harmed by the impaired driver’s behavior. But what could the legal consequences have been if an actual accident with injuries had occurred? The question of liability could have become complicated for Dawson Tour Bus Services, Inc., the owners of the charter bus in question, and the driver’s employer.

Due to liability laws, an employer is considered liable for actions committed by an employee in the scope of his or her employment, which means the Delaware company may have been hailed to court if the incident had resulted in any civil actions from students or chaperones. However, there are exceptions to vicarious liability that include an employee’s intentional actions or actions committed under the influence of drugs or alcohol.